Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


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the Winter Blues

earrings on tofu skin
Cyanotype experiment on tofu skin, 2012

Recent trials on ephemeral materials, printed on short and chilly northern days. They prove you don't need warm summer sun to make them. But I miss days as long as nights, damp skin on my rooftop studio in Bangkok, wiping sweat away from prints as the iron salts turned green then blue then Prussian white.

One drop of sweat will ruin a piece, fingerprints will stain a work. Make it unsaleable. But I've never really made a living just from selling my art. Not for long anyway.

The rapacious art/investment "scene" of China and my transient life here have turned me away from making saleable work to ephemeral pieces I can document, then throw away without regret. They are lush blue and cream for just a few hours. Then they shrivel into dark crunchy shadows of what they once were. These tofu skin pieces might even be edible: one of the Cyanotype ingredients is an iron supplement for products like Irn Bru, that Scottish staple.

I don't know where these experiments will go. Maybe nowhere at all, maybe somewhere new. But if nothing else, they're helping me get through the winter blues (i.e. the monkey on your forehead, chattering away about what a worthless creature you are).

 

 

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